Summer is here, and with it comes a house full of children looking to stave off boredom.
For the good of the kids, and your family, steer them away from the video games and streaming services and cook up a series of day trips and adventures that will forge real memories.
“It’s not that difficult to come up with fun activities and outings the whole family can enjoy,” says Minto Schneider, Chief Executive Officer of Waterloo Region Tourism. “And you don’t always have to break the bank. Your kids will have a ball just going to a splash pad at a neighbourhood park. But there is so much more you can do with them that will have them looking back on their childhood fondly.”
Some of Minto’s recommendations for a summer day out with the family in Waterloo Region include:
Go wild! There aren’t too many places where you can get up close to the wild animals of the savannah, but the African Lion Safari in Cambridge is one of them. Admire and appreciate the beauty of elephants, lions, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, monkeys and more as they roam through this wildlife park. Take the kids behind the scenes with Wake Up the Wild, a VIP experience that gets you early access to the park to see the lions at their most active time of day and for a personalized tour that will bring up close to the rhinos, ostrich and zebras and will allow you to feed Canada’s largest herd of giraffe.
Go tropical! If you prefer something a little less wild, check out the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, with more than 5,000 butterflies flitting about, plus a handful of birds and other wildlife in a lush, tropical setting.
Get wet! Put a bunch of waterslides together with a wave pool, splash pad and arcade and you have a full day of fun. Bingemans Big Splash Waterpark in Kitchener will be open daily June 30, and the Playdium arcade is open year round for rainy days and interactive fun.
Be historic! Step back in time — and learn about the early families who settled the Waterloo area — with a visit to the Doon Heritage Village at the Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener. The picturesque 60-acre living history exhibit is a faithful recreation of life in Waterloo circa 1914 — the year the Great War broke out.
Go touring! See Waterloo Region from a different perspective by Canoeing the Grand. Beautiful scenery and serene waters make this a stunning day out. Or step out of the water and onto the back of a great mare with Conestogo River Horseback Adventures. See nature in a new way as you follow trails around the Conestogo River. The four-hour ride will take you into the historic and picturesque village of St. Jacobs.
Go shopping! Strolling through the boutiques of St. Jacobs Village or browsing at the world renowned St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, you will always find something new and unique. The Village of St. Jacobs is open every day and the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market is open in the summer Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Be active! So much more than a winter attraction, the Chicopee Tube Park will get the kids moving this summer. Share the joy with them on the zip line, Eurobungy Trampoline, Spider Web climbing tower, Horizontal Ropes and Summer Tubing.